Where The Monsters Are by Mike Morgan (book review).

The Age of Asmodeus started when a magician of that name reset the magical energy state of local reality, just for fun, and transmogrified two percent of the global population into mythical creatures. Like enemy aliens in wartime, they are required to register with the authorities.

Sixteen years later, Malcolm Tensor is working for the British government as the leader of a K-or-C squad. Mission: locate unregistered magical creatures and kill or contain them. However, the creatures on the current list simply have to be killed, not offered a chance to register. Odd, and dangerous. Tension, apprehension and dissension have begun.

Tensor works with Chris Norris, a normal human, and Maggie Wickham, a witch. He’s busy. On page two, he slays the Loch Ness Monster then goes after a fairy in Aberdeen. She turns out to be a member of Supernatural Lives Matter, known troublemakers. Tensor himself used to be a regular guy called James Ryder but is supernatural now with red eyes and telepathic powers and the witch scolds him for working with the authorities. They’ll come for him one day, she says, paraphrasing Pastor Martin Niemöller.

London headquarters summons him back and Tensor unravels a few mysteries in scenes that lead to a spectacular climax, followed by a denouement that will surprise him and the reader. The way is open for a sequel or not. I hope for the former.

‘Where The Monsters Are’ is a quick read novella that combines the ingredients of entertaining fiction with humour and morality but the latter is subtly done. Morgan doesn’t sell his pulp soul for a pot of message. Worth a look.

Eamonn Murphy

December 2021

(pub: hiraethsff, 2021. 98 page paperback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK), $ 8.00 (US). ISBN: 978-1-08796-388-4)

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Eamonn Murphy

Eamonn Murphy reviews books for sfcrowsnest and writes short stories now and then. Website:

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